Album Review – Elliott Smith: Heaven Adores You (Soundtrack)

There is seemingly always more in the Elliott Smith archives, a fact that fans of the late musician have learned to bittersweet effect in the years since the songwriter’s 2003 death. First there was From a Basement on the Hill, the project that gathered his final batch of material, an album overseen posthumously by Rob Schnapf and Joanna Bolme. New Moon, a two-disc compilation shepherded by Smith archivist Larry Crane, covered unreleased material from his early years. And Kill Rock Stars, which now controls much of Smith’s catalog, released a handful of outtakes in 2012.

There’s been little officially since then, though a number of bootleg recordings and studio sessions have made their way online over the years, mostly through fan message boards. So Heaven Adores You, the next collection of Smith archival material, is a major release, a soundtrack and companion to the documentary film of the same name.

The film is at its best covering Smith’s early years, particularly his seminal time in Portland as a member of Heatmiser and emerging solo artist. Likewise, the soundtrack plucks from his origins to illuminating and amusing effect—there’s an instrumental covered in classic rock soloing (“Untitled Melancholy Song”), a keys-and-drums jam with Heatmiser’s Neil Gust (“Hamburgers”) and the proto-Elliott pop of “I Love My Room,” a song that reveals the young musician’s considerable instrumental capabilities and still-in-progress lyrical and vocal gifts.

One of the fascinating elements of Smith’s songwriting was his rewrites: songs he sang live one way arrived on studio albums years later with new lyrics, a process that his studio outtakes also confirm. His work is laid out on “Don’t Call Me Billy,” an early version of “Fear City,” a Smith rocker with riffs to match his Heatmiser days. In demo form, it includes a head-turning spoken-word section: “Billy’s so cool, Billy’s so great,” Smith says sarcastically, a moment of genuine irritation or perhaps knowing silliness, which might be why it didn’t make the final cut. Equally surprising, an early take on “Coast to Coast” has a muddled middle—the sharp transitions that defined his writing hadn’t been worked out yet. So much of Smith’s work sounds effortless: it’s a thrill to sense the sweat that went into it.

A lot of this material works best as historical documentation, though it has its share of essential moments. There’s a gorgeous instrumental (the “unknown” seventh track) that could’ve fit on Roman Candle and revels in the woozy cowboy sound that occasionally made its way into the Texas-born Smith’s material. “Christian Brothers,” a song from Smith’s second album, is reborn here in a full-band Heatmiser incarnation, electric and incandescent. What might have been, had Smith held back more of his solo material for the promising band?

And then, “True Love”: if we never get another thorough posthumous release, this is Smith’s last stunner, a near-mythological song that first appeared in a Basement bootleg release in 2005. The Heaven Adores You film treads lightly with Smith’s final years and violent, unsolved death, but the singer’s music never held back. Graced with strings and tender, waltzing guitars, “True Love” finds Smith writing with more of his last album’s bleak frankness: “All I need is a safe place to bleed/is this where it’s at?” It ends with transcendence, or maybe defeat: “Take me out of this place,” he sings, his voice high and trembling. “Take me up with you today.”

Album Review – Roly Porter: Third Law

Sci-fi and electronic music go hand in hand. The former’s ambitiously inventive concepts are complimented by the latter’s expansive sonic potential, and vice versa. Some highly adept artists craft records that are seemingly ready-made for film, although nothing is lost with the absence of visual components. Third Law is the newest full-length from producer and former Vex’d member Roly Porter, a masterful conceptual composer.

Porter’s ability to marry the overwhelmingly intense with the stunningly serene is truly something to behold. These compositions commit to no genres whatsoever, and only carry vapors of techno and ambient music. Tranquil strings and synth drones are overtaken by towering mountains of earth-shaking bass, pulsing 808s, and choral harmonies, only to emerge from the cacophonous rubble with sparse, subtle beauty.

After tackling the musical narration of a star’s life-cycle from birth to death in his previous record, Porter explores Newton’s third law of motion (for every action, there is an equal and and opposite reaction) in this collection of songs. This concept is embodied in the flawlessly paced, meticulously detailed chain-reactions that occur across this marvelous record. If you’re seeking otherworldly electronics, this album is for you.

Album Review – DIIV: Is The Is Are

The long wait is over, DIIV has recently released their second album, titled Is The Is Are. Is The Is Are is the first album by DIIV since Oshin, which was released in 2012. It’s safe to say that this album is long overdue but the process of releasing the album was very problematic as well. One of the problems included drug addiction by lead singer Zachary Cole Smith. These complications that plagued the release of Is The Is Are, are alluded to throughout the album, giving the album a sort of transparent feeling. 

Indeed, Is The Is Are means a lot to DIIV because of all of the adversity that the band has gone through, and rightfully so, but that is also what makes this album so remarkable. The overall tone of Is The Is Are is much more mellow as opposed to Oshin, the band’s first album. The flow of the album is very easy-going, and is an album aimed at simplicity. While this album has an eclectic, spiritual feeling to the members of DIIV, the album is also able to transmit this same feeling to the listener as well. Is The Is Are is an album that radiates consistency throughout, and DIIV does a great job of remaining true to their own, unique genre.

A personal favorite from the album is the sixth track on the album, titled “Valentine”. This song features soft yet sinister vocals, with a light background instrumental. The chorus of the song is particularly special because it doesn’t feature any vocals, rather the instruments take the place of the chorus. The instrumentals in “Valentine” are very intricate and repetitive, but it showcases the band’s ability to lead with their instruments and not their vocals. “Valentine” is very comparable to other songs in the album and this can be seen as a pitfall of the album.

The album features very good instrumentals, and not very many vocals. While this is a good thing for the album, there isn’t one true standout song from the album. Most songs on the album sound very similar, and the style doesn’t vary much throughout. To some this may seem like a pitfall, however I admire the consistency and I think it shows the identity that DIIV is going for. DIIV isn’t trying to switch up their style, they know what works for them and they stick to it. The uniformity sets them apart from other indie bands.

Despite the long delay, Is The Is Are is a tremendously produced album. DIIV didn’t conform to styles of other bands, and didn’t change much from their first album. Instead, DIIV delivered an album that worked for them, and that fit their style. Is The Is Are is a consistent album that many can relate to, and enjoy.

Album Review – Dr. Dog: Psychedelic Swamp

The name Psychedelic Swamp should strike a familiar chord to the most devoted among Dr. Dog’s hirsute hordes. It’s the name of the band’s self-recorded, self-released debut from 2001, little more than a lo-fi demo to get the band off the ground after their formation in Philadelphia a little over a year earlier. It’s their weirdest and least accessible release, and since that low-key recording 15 years ago, it’s been traded and circulated like so many overdubbed and worn-out mixtapes, its reputation treasured if less than legendary.

Dr. Dog has grown a lot since then. They’ve released seven albums and change, each one a bigger and more fully fleshed out production, and with stronger songwriting for that matter. With time and distance, however, Dr. Dog’s journey has taken them back to the beginning. Psychedelic Swamp became the source of new inspiration for the band, and for album number eight, they recommitted themselves to the source material, creating the album anew with better production, richer arrangements and the know-how of a band within the sightline of their second decade.

The off-putting and abrasive elements have been mostly smoothed out on Psychedelic Swamp, though the actual psychedelic part remains mostly intact. “Swamp Is On” becomes a gently flowing psych-pop ballad and a more beautifully rendered counterpoint to the psych-ward folk of its 2001 counterpart. Similarly, “Engineer Says” reimagines the once hissy strummer as a more spacious blues-rock vamp. And “Swampadelic Pop” removes the Casio drum-machine clicks and helium-voiced disorientation in favor of something closer to their more recent, big-budget studio jams.

The original Psychedelic Swamp wasn’t necessarily a good album; that it could even be called an album could be a point of argument in itself. Yet there was a purity to its chemical-addled experimentation that had a certain charm, which is mostly phased out here. There are moments, like “Swamp Descent,” where some of that twisted silliness rears its head. Much of this revamped version of Psychedelic Swamp is vastly more conventional—even normal—than the record that inspired it, which is as much a selling point as it is a slight source of disappointment. It’s a fun, dramatically more listenable album, if one that could stand to freak out a little now and then.
 

Album Review – Radiation City: Synesthetica

Radiation City are a band steeped in nostalgic influences. Previous albums The Hand That Takes You and Animals In The Median generously cherry picked elements from such diverse genres as 60s jazz and Kraftwerk-esque synth pop. This eagerness for wistful experimentation is present in force throughout new release Synesthetica. It is an excellent album and while it is certainly the band’s most upbeat and commercially accessible release to date, it achieves this without making any compromises to their signature retro-futuristic sound.

“Oil Show” is as good an opener as anyone could hope for, Ellison’s vocals backed up by a perfectly constructed swirl of verb-drenched backing vocals, eclectic drums and disco tinged guitars. Airy psychedelia and fuzzed up blues rock are married to brilliant effect in the lead single “Juicy”, the most catchy song on the album with a joyful sing-along chorus which absolutely deserves to be belted out by throngs of festival-goers come summertime. The band claim the song is about “feeling sexy in your own skin” and indeed sexuality is a common theme throughout the album; Spies’ verses on “Come and Go” are dripping in sleaze and you’d need to be a real puritan not to register the meaning of Ellison’s line, “Your Midas tongue tells me the night is young” in “Oil Show”.

The best tracks on Synesthetica are everything that Radiation City at their best are all about, an experimental patchwork of nostalgia side by side with modernity, balanced perfectly with drum-tight songwriting. It is on the few occasions that the balance tips more toward experimentation at the expense of structure that the quality of the album dips. “Sugar Broom” is a dull haze of filtered vocals and blippy synths with no discernible direction and, likewise, “Separate” is an overlong mixture of ill-fitting individual sections which ultimately just don’t work, all the more frustrating as it definitely has a good song buried within it somewhere. Fortunately “Futures” is on hand to get the album back on track with perfect levels of cheese and a chorus sounding like what you’d get if The Buggles had recorded “Video Killed the Radio Star” in 2016 rather than the 70s.

What is most impressive about Synesthetica, and indeed Radiation City in general, is the apparent ease with which the music melds styles as diverse as analogue electronica, trip-hop (“Butter” in particular) and bossa without sounding in any way contrived. That’s no mean feat and is a key reason why it really feels like this an album with potential for crossover success. For keen audiophiles the album’s production provides plenty of sonic layers to pore over and dissect but for the more casual listener it is the abundance of groove and hooks that will earn repeat spin after repeat spin. Synesthetica is the band’s best release to date and if it receives as warm a reception as it deserves then 2016 could easily be the year that Radiation City convert their wealth of hype into mainstream success.

Album Review – Nap Eyes: Thought Rock Fish Scale

Let’s not dance around it; Nigel Chapman does sound like Lou Reed. A lot. The timbre of his voice and the pronunciation of words. Even in the way that it sounds like a conversation even though he’s actually singing. This is not a problem, just a happy coincidence. What counts is what Chapman does with his vocals talents, and it happens to be something impressive.

Despite their relative success (in humble Canadian terms) Nap Eyes are not splashy and they are far from pretentious. The music is down-home, folk-based with a touch of country. The quality shines through in the subtle touches; the gentle build up on “Stargazer” (drums, then bass, then guitar) or the carefully timed splashes of pedal steel on “Alaskan Shake”. But the band’s music alone does not set them apart. No, Chapman is more than just the band’s front man; he is the focal point and his lyricism and vocal delivery make Thought Rock Fish Scale something special.

Chapman speaks to us directly with straightforward language that doesn’t sound rehearsed. It’s like a one-sided chat. With our guard down it seems like he is telling us something profound, even when the words are pretty mundane (“At the sink, I wait for the cold water/I burned myself here one too many times“). In this way, he transforms light country-folk tunes like “Click Clack” and “Stargazer” into something with more gravitas. His poet/singer approach works best on the more lethargic tunes like “Lion in Chains” where Chapman spins his tale like a snake-charmer and lulls us into mesmerized bliss.

The album is not a complete masterpiece. “Trust”, for example, is a bit of a clunker as Chapman really doesn’t have much to say but he keeps insisting “Trust, trust me” and the repetition gets annoying. However, there are enough moments of magic to set Nap Eyes apart from the indie folk crowd and to keep you coming back for another listen.

Album Review – Kyle Hall: From Joy

Say what you like about Detroit’s finest, their music is unrivalled. Their prodigious talent in the studio and behind the decks is made all the more alluring by their close-knit reticence, but that doesn’t put us off. Although released this year, From Joy is comprised only of tracks made pre-2010, back when Hall was in his late teens. Teens, or rather childhood, for Hall represents a period in life when we are “most honest and present”. While the album’s title relates to physically being from Joy Road – where he lived at the time – it subsequently is a hark back to his youth and to the freedom of self we have at that stage in our lives.

There are no lengthy intros or tracks that glide on to get you lost in some ethereal experience, as is the case with so much contemporary dance albums. Simply put, the album is filled head to toe with groovers. Remnants of KMFH’s hip-hop and squelch from Dirty Thouz are apparent in tracks like ‘Able To’. The opening drum work on ‘Mysterious Lake’ is reminiscent of Jay Daniel’s ‘Royal Insanity‘ before a sunset synth sears it into a deeper groove. And perhaps the one track that is detached rather than present – so to speak – is the brilliant ‘Wake Up and Dip’, which features melancholic piano keys that trickle over vast dispersed kicks. Its jazz spontaneity with endless synth variations and unpredictable drums keep us hooked and present throughout, making it a joy for home listening as well as inevitably apt for a dancefloor shuffle.

On the surface Hall’s done nothing new and the album might seem downright lazy but if we think of the music, it’s impossible not to enjoy it. Everything about the album is what we’ve grown to love about Hall’s sound from the start. It’s the debut album he should’ve had. Hall is a picky bloke with very high standards and the fact these songs still impress on him as much today as they did then surely speaks volumes of their quality. Moreover, their organic nature has created an album that is truer to Hall than he could’ve ever tried for if he’d made the songs last year. The playfulness and purity of producing without an end goal is evident throughout. It’s an easy one in the bag for any Hall aficionado and a perfect welcome pack for those still unfamiliar with this genius.

Album Review – Adrian Younge: Something About April II

In a world where the minimalism of Hans Zimmer reigns supreme, it’s good to have Adrian Younge on the scene. In between revitalizing Souls of Mischief and the Delfonics, the Los Angeles composer keeps returning to the audio realm of movie soundtracks. Just don’t bother him with the little things, like whether or not the movie he’s scoring even exists.

AY returns again to his Venice Dawn project with Something About April II. For those keeping score, Venice Dawn started as a funky, psychedelic EP prior to Younge releasing the Black Dynamite Soundtrack. Following the success of Black Dynamite, Younge revisited and updated the sound with the revamped soundtrack to Something About April, a movie about a married black man and his white mistress that was never made. If the cover art of the second installment is any indication, apparently the mistress found a girl of her own. You’ll have to keep guessing, though.

As with the earlier iterations, SAAII melds the big, bombastic soundtrack works of Ennio Moirccone, James Brown and Curtis Mayfield, filtering the resultant mixture through a decidedly hip-hop lens. The kickdrums on “Psalms” alone are apt to shatter the concrete below boomboxes. While it is hard to ascribe a storyline to a movie that simply isn’t, Younge clearly paints a full picture. From the wails on opener “Sittin’ by the Radio” to the skunky brass of cacophonous closer “Hear My Love,” he hits all the emotional points of your quality, non-quality B-movie bonanza.

While Younge plays more instruments here than Prince on his last few albums (including the criminally underloved glockenspiel), he’s also joined by a pantheon of guests, some familiar, some not so much. Bilal, Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier, Raphael Saadiq and Tortoise’s John Herndon stand alongside the Israeli artist, Karolina, all drop their distinct marks. For my money, the dreamy love song, “Sandrine,” is the stand-out winner here, but the blaxploitation beauty of “Magic Music” or the French sultriness of “La Ballade” make strong bids for that tile as well. I guess we’ll have to just wait for mythical sequel that’s probably being imagined to help round out this trilogy and find out just what happens to April.

EP Review – Krallice: Hyperion

New York-based black metal quartet Krallice are a band with progression a significant part of their gene pool. Featuring among their line-up guitarist Colin Marston of legendary tech-death band Gorguts (among others), their crisp but often long, ambidextrous compositions have largely enthralled the blogosphere and, in true USBM fashion, managed to keep elitists at arm’s length. 2015’s Ygg Huur, their last full-length, was full to the brim with their destructive technical ability, but the three track Hyperion EP reclaims the soulfulness and atmosphere of their earlier work in spades. 

Apparently recorded in 2013, the material here traverses the line in terms of aesthetic between the two LPs it was sandwiched between. Their blinding connection and understanding as a unit is still fully apparent, but this re-shifts the focus back on to the sound-tracking of flights of fantasy through jaw-dropping landscapes. The scope of the title track is almost cosmic, especially as a lingering, thick synth haze rounds the track off. Their progressive tendencies come into the fore refreshingly on the meandering, sinister dirge that strikes the heart of ‘The Guilt of Time’, and the hypnotic riffing in the closing 2 minutes is as epic as the band have ever been. 

On the 10-minute closer ‘Assuming Memory’ the walls of tremolo picking are at their most formidable, rising without remorse or restraint. The mist of feedback and textured synths has a sense of history and depth that many modern, unconventional BM bands seem to always be striving for and fall short. 

Following the release of Ygg Huur it’s hard to say whether Hyperion is a signifier of material to come. While we can slightly hope so, this EP is an exhilarating, beautiful little document that shows just how powerful Krallice can be when they’re dealing with vision and emotion above how tightly they can play. 

Album Review – The Hateful Eight (Soundtrack)

Call me Nostradamus, but I predict Ennio Morricone is due for an Oscar for his outstanding work on The Hateful Eight soundtrack. Since a score is tantamount to a great script or story in the world of cinema, we find ourselves in the hands of a master once again, and this world is foreboding.

From the opening track, “L’Ultima Diligenza di Red Rock,” we creep and careen with the low notes of bassoons indicative of the tuba of “Jaws” and John Williams. Then we drift and jab with stings reminiscent of the great Bernard Herman, but these are only my comparisons or frame of reference. Morricone delivers an instant and original classic that builds tension that something evil is imminent. We climb, crescendo, thump and twirl towards something “Hateful” coming our way to be sure.

The “Overture” seems to give the listener a chance to catch his/her breath or remain seated because the wolf remains — no lurks– at the door. A variation of the main theme is threaded through once again (a trademark of a successful and memorable soundtrack) this time mixed with innocence of chimes and vibrant strings. “Neve” has a great John Barry nuance. Reminds me of other tracks on “Diamond Are Forever” (one of my favorite film composers of all time and soundtracks).

Over the years I find that I return to Ennio Morricone’s music frequently because he inspires. He is so much more than just the twang of yesterday’s “Spaghetti Western,” and the coyote cry of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly… When I think of the haunting theme from Once Upon a Time in the West, the music box theme in the duel For a Few Dollars More, or “Chi Mai,” the romance of Cinema Paradiso, his body of work and music stirs my soul and evokes chills. His compositions transport my imagination beyond the cinema.

He has given filmgoers and the world over his gift of composition and The Hateful Eight proves that he is worthy of an Oscar with this instant classic. You can feel the ice melt under your feet with this one or the sub zero blizzard stinging your skin, but it is impossible to be numb to the mellifluous sounds of Morricone. How fortunate that Tarantino is to have worked with this musical genius.

Album Review – Wiz Khalifa – Khalifa 

Khalifa in a way is a return to form for Wiz Khalifa, not to take away from his earlier releases. The album has many of the topics and themes we have grown accustomed to; drugs (primarily weed), women, money, love, pain and Wiz’s admiration for his city, Pittsburgh.

Khalifa has many of the same usual collaboration partners, including Taylor Gang label mates Chevy Woods, Ty Dolla $ign and Juicy J. At the same time, it introduces the mainstream to some artists we may might not have heard of before such as Courtney Noelle and Bash. Khalifa also showcases featured artists, specifically Travis Scott on the lead single “Bake Sale” and Rico Love on “Celebrate.” 

Khalifa also brings a bountiful of hip hop’s top producers to round out the sound of the album from Juicy J (also an executive producer) and Metro Boomin (“Jumpman”) all the way to Boi-1da (“No New Friends”). The album has its stand out tracks while containing a few that are forgettable, to say the least. The album starts off strong with tracks like “Elevate” and “City View,” but towards the end it doesn’t maintain that same impact. “Call Waiting” stuck out for it’s vibe and the approach Wiz took by singing throughout its entirety. It is definitely one of the more memorable tracks.

The lead single, “Bake Sale” reminds me too much of featured artist, Travis Scott’s “Antidote”. I understand it is Scott’s signature and the way he delivers his sound, but the entire time the lyrics of “Antidote” were going through my mind while listening to “Bake Sale.” It is a track that honestly could have been left off the album or, at least, a lot more effort put into it, so it didn’t sound so familiar with Travis’ other works. When first hearing “Make a Play”, I thought the featured artist was Lil Wayne as J.R. Donato has the same delivery and similar sounding vocals.

It isn’t all negative, as you get a mix of old school Wiz specifically his earlier sound on mix tapes like Cabin Fever. The truly stand out track on the album is “Zoney” as he shares a heartfelt moment with his son, Sebastian. Looking past all the drug and money references you get a glimpse of what truly matters in his life. 

Overall the album is worth a listen. It would have been nice to get a bit deeper into overall subject matters but that isn’t the artist that Wiz is. I will say, Khalifa is an album that defines the Wiz we’ve grown to know over the years. 

Album Review – Junior Boys: Big Black Coat

There was a point between the release of It’s All True and Big Black Coat when Junior Boys seemed finished. Talk of a planned EP was heard in 2012. Nothing surfaced. Years passed. All along, Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus were succeeding with individual pursuits. Greenspan was working closely with Jessy Lanza and Dan Snaith, and released solo singles on the latter’s Jiaolong label. Didemus, who remained based in Berlin, issued productions of his own and launched Obsession Recordings. Their contractual obligation to Domino fulfilled, Junior Boys went dormant for the longest period of their existence. Greenspan, revitalized by his outside collaborations, eventually worked on JBs material with Didemus’ involvement, and together, the musicians knocked out their fifth album, released on Greenspan’s Geej label in his native Canada and on City Slang elsewhere. 

On Big Black Coat, the duo dredge, as uniquely as ever, from a pool of old sources, including post-disco, early and raw Chicago house, and the bizarre art-pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra (and graphically from Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands). No two tracks sound similar, yet they all fit together. Take the almost minimalist “C’mon Baby,” a chilling, droning acid house ballad that escalates slowly, immediately trailed by the intricate “Baby Give Up on It,” a sun-splashed neo-boogie jam. One component that separates it from the four previous Junior Boys albums is the lyrics, influenced by conversations Greenspan has had with some male patrons of the bar/cafe/gallery he co-owns. 

Given the frequency with which Greenspan uses “baby” as a term of endearment, it could be inferred that the material is very personal; all of it is directed at a “you,” and none of it sounds disconnected, even the vocals are run through a battery of effects. Many of the lines can indeed be heard as thoughts of fanatical creeps. “You Say That,” for instance, opens the album with “I’ve been waiting every single day, but you don’t know, you don’t know,” then turns it up a notch with “There’s a little piece of me inside you, but you don’t know.” Even Bobby Caldwell’s red-haired soul classic “What You Won’t Do for Love,” refurbished as a Colourbox-meets-Stock, Aitken & Waterman soundclash, takes on a darker hue; in this context, “Got a thing for you and I can’t let go” faintly resembles a threat. 

Compulsive in more than one sense, Big Black Coat contends with Last Exit as Junior Boys’ deepest, most vibrant work.

Album Review – Pinegrove: Cardinal

The songs on Cardinal all feel like smaller pieces to a larger story, thematically coming to an open with “Old Friends” which sees vocalist Evan Stephens Hall talking about old relationships and just how easily they become taken for granted. The rest of the record plays out like an introspective journey leading up to the familiar events of the album’s finale, “New Friends.”

Songs like “Aphasia” really drive this theme home. The song is slowed, with a tender vocal delivery and a simple strum making up the first fifteen seconds or so of the song. This was the first song on Cardinal that brought on goosebumps, if not simply for the line “So satisfied/I said a lot of things tonight/So long Aphasia and the ways you kept me hiding.” See, Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language. You wouldn’t know that Hall was diagnosed with Aphasia when you listen to these songs because these incredible thoughts and ideas seem to pour out of them with seemingly no issue.

Cardinal started out with a conversation about old relationships and how quick we are to take them for granted, and the rest of the record felt like a look inside those relationships, and the thought process going into the optimistic attitude of the album’s closer, on which Hall sings “I resolve to make new friends/I liked my old ones, but I fucked up/So I’ll start again/What’s the worst that could happen?”

Pinegrove have created a record that one will fall more and more in love with the more they listen to it. Sonically, Cardinal will catch your ear, and you’re going to leave that listen with a smile on your face. You’ll find the real beauty of this record when you listen to the story that’s unfolding in front of you.